Life (Cafe) Goes on in Bushwick


BushwickBK has a lengthy interview with Kathy Kirkpatrick, the founder and co-owner of the Life Cafe. Kirkpatrick has been at her current location on Flushing Avenue since 2002, after leaving the original Life Cafe that she and her then-husband opened on East 10th Street in 1981. Kirkpatrick is planning to write a book about her experiences running the legendary cafe, which began its life as a haven for artists, musicians and writers including Jonathan Larson, who went on to immortalize the place in Rent. In the interview, Kirkpatrick’s reflections on the Life Cafe of the ’80s — “We had people shooting up and OD-ing in our bathroom and things were getting pretty ugly” — indicates that her book may provide an uncommon and honest accounting of the realities of running a “little neighborhood cafe” during the East Village’s bad old days. Interestingly, since moving to Bushwick, she’s seen history repeat itself in the form of the “arty types” who have been colonizing the once-desolate industrial area. If you build it…